Halfway Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia seems on track to hit key goals

03 November 2023 Consultancy-me.com 2 min. read

With Saudi Arabia half way to the end date of its ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 goals, the country now appears to be on track to meet the targets, which include economic, social, and cultural diversification and sustainability. That is according to high-level analysis from consulting firm PwC.

One of the leading areas of development within the scope of Vision 2030, female participation in the workforce has already surpassed the 2030 goal of 30% – having reached 36% in the first quarter of this year.

Non-oil revenue growth, another major component of the goals, has also increased astronomically – from $163 billion to $411 billion in 2022, with the end goal of reaching $1 trillion by 2030.

Areas of good performance

First announced by the Saudi government in 2016, Vision 2030 aims to diversify the country's economy and reduce its dependence on oil by the year 2030. The plan includes a wide range of economic and social reforms, including investments in non-oil sectors, privatization of state assets, and the development of infrastructure, healthcare, and education.

“The Kingdom as a whole is making good progress towards achieving Vision 2030, with areas of focus including non-oil diversification, improving infrastructure, advancing digitalization, fostering a competitive business environment and ensuring good jobs for its citizens through nationalization targets,” said Riyadh AlNajjar, Middle East Chairman of the Board and Saudi Arabia Senior Partner at PwC.

“The Kingdom's ambitious initiatives are shaping the foundation of the new Saudi economy which will have a transformative effect on the business environment in the region.”

Homeownership among Saudi citizens has also increased significantly since the outset of Vision 2030, rising from 47% to 67%, surpassing homeownership rates in the United States and France. This was thanks to various measures like increasing the availability of affordable housing, implementing a tax on undeveloped urban land, and facilitating better access to financing. The 2030 goal of achieving a 70% homeownership rate is now within reach due to these successful initiatives.

Though many components of the Vision 2030 goals have either been met or are well on track to be met, some areas need more significantly more work in order to ensure goals are met.

For example, foreign direct investment, which averaged 0.9% of GDP from 2016 to 2022, is still far below the 2030 goal of 5.7%. It is also well below the foreign direct investment of some neighboring GCC countries, which have rates of around 3% of GDP.

Vision 2030 also focuses significantly on tourism. Just this year, the Saudi government announced the launch of a new airline, Riyadh Air, which created significant waves among competitors in the Gulf airline market.

“Saudi Arabia’s economy has shown exceptional growth since the launch of Vision 2030. New initiatives and the commitment to its transformation beyond Vision 2030 will provide a secure economic foundation for future generations,” said Faisal Alsarraj, Partner and Deputy Country Leader for Saudi Arabia at PwC.